Friday, February 15, 2013

Not Just Horsing Around

That will get the Sinti all excited, was my first reaction to the news report about horse meat being found in various supposedly beef products in Britain and other parts of Europe. Horse meat is unclean to Sinti Romany. Eating it makes one unclean. Being unclean means being shunned by other Sinti.

Most of us can think of a number of folks we wouldn't mind avoiding us (the weird neighbor, the obnoxious in-law, that one guy at work . . .), for a group-oriented people, this is true punishment.

Now, as a card-carrying anthropologist and a missionary, I've eaten some strange things. Would I eat horse meat? Not knowingly. I don't want to be shunned by Sinti, either.

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